An Overview of Chinese Medicine

Chinese medicine believes that we are all born with a life force known as qi, pronounced as ‘Chee’. Qi or energy is present in each cell and is responsible for all the life functions of the human body. Food and water we consume as well as the air we breathe is converted into this vital energy force.

This ancient form of medicine considers people to be either in harmony with their qi, or not in harmony.  When we are ill, we are not in harmony with our qi, and Chinese medicine works towards restoring that harmony by unblocking the qi. When we are ill, there is a struggle between the good qi and the bad or pathogenic qi.  Pathogenic energy in Chinese medicine is broadly classified into wind, cold, heat, damp and dryness.1

Treating the Common Ills

Much before modern science discovered that disease was caused by bacteria and viruses, ancient medical systems like Ayurveda, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Unani medicine or Tibetan medicine had a different approach that explained diseases. Moreover, these medical practices had effective treatments to take care of the ailment.

It is said that there is no cure for common cold, in Allopathic medicine or alternative medicine like Chinese Medicine. Allopathic medication rarely treats the root cause of the illness whereas Chinese Medicine takes a completely different view as to the healing of the body.

A cold, Chinese medical practitioners believe, can be warded off in the initial stages. As soon as you begin to feel a little ‘under the weather’, if TCM is used to treat the condition, chances are that the cold will pass off in a day. A Chinese medical practitioner would treat the problem with a dose of herbs and acupuncture2.

Boosting the Immune System

The immune system plays a vital role in the healing process. This is the reason traditional Chinese medicine follows effective techniques that improve the immune system to protect the body against pathogenic energy. The cold or the flu is the result of a conflict between the invading pathogenic energy and the good qi of the body.

To shore up the body’s defences against the pathogens, it is essential to maintain a strong qi with the help of a good diet. Chinese medicine advocates a healthy diet of fresh fruit and raw vegetables. It also helps to cut out foods high in sugar from the diet, maintain cleanliness and undergo acupuncture treatments to balance out the energy.

The Approach of Chinese Medicine

A practitioner of TCM will first identify the organs of the body that are the source of the disease and the cause of the disease, i.e., cold, wind, heat or damp. The treatment consists of a mixture of herbs that are known to improve the condition and are suitable to the patient3. The practitioner might also make use of Acupuncture to regulate the flow of energy to speed up the healing process.

Chinese Medicine looks at maintaining the natural health balance of qi or energy that includes the entire body to create optimal health. It follows sound living principles to support a long life devoid of degenerative disease.

Footnotes and references: